Tito Sotto

This name uses Philippine naming customs. The maternal family name is Castelo and the paternal family name is Sotto.
The Honorable
Tito Sotto
Majority Floor Leader of the Senate of the Philippines
Assumed office
25 July 2016
Preceded by Alan Peter Cayetano
In office
26 July 2010  22 July 2013
Preceded by Juan Miguel Zubiri
Succeeded by Gregorio Honasan
Senator of the Philippines
Assumed office
30 June 2010
In office
30 June 1992  30 June 2004
Minority Floor Leader of the Senate of the Philippines
In office
28 July 2014  24 August 2015
Preceded by Juan Ponce Enrile
Succeeded by Juan Ponce Enrile
In office
3 June 2002  26 July 2004
Preceded by Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.
Succeeded by Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.
Chairman of Dangerous Drugs Board
In office
Vice Mayor of Quezon City
In office
Preceded by Elmer Pormiento
Succeeded by Charito Planas
Personal details
Born Vicente Castelo Sotto III
(1948-08-24) 24 August 1948
Manila, Philippines
Political party NPC (2007 – present)
UNA (2013-2015)
LDP (1987-2007)
Spouse(s) Helen Gamboa
Children 4 (including Ciara)
Residence Quezon City, Metro Manila
Alma mater Colegio de San Juan de Letran
Religion Roman Catholicism
Military service
Allegiance Republic of the Philippines
Service/branch Philippine Army
Philippine Constabulary
Years of service 2013 - Present (PAR)
1998 - 2013 (PCR)
Rank Lieutenant Colonel
Commands G4, 1502IBDE, 15ID(RR)

Vicente "Tito" Sotto III (born 24 August 1948) is an actor, comedian, singer, songwriter, TV host, journalist, and politician in the Philippines. Sotto served as Vice Mayor of Quezon City, the Philippines' most populous city, from 1988 to 1992. He served two terms in the Senate, from 1992 to 2004; he was reelected to the Senate in 2010 and is seeking another term in the 2016 elections.

Sotto is the brother of comedian and singer Marvic (Vic), Marcelino Antonio Jr. (Maru), and comedian Valmar (Val) Sotto and a grandson and grandnephew of former Senators Vicente Y. Sotto and Filemon Sotto.

Early life

Vicente Castelo Sotto III was born on 24 August 1948.[1] His parents were Marcelino Antonio Ojeda Sotto and Dr. Herminia Castelo Sotto.[1] Sotto studied at Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Intramuros, Manila for his elementary, high school, and college education, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in English.[2]

Show business career

Tito Sotto
Background information
Birth name Vicente Castelo Sotto
Born (1948-08-24) 24 August 1948
Manila, Philippines
Genres OPM, Manila Sound
Occupation(s) Actor, singer, comedian, musician, TV host, politician
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1960–present
Associated acts VST & Company

Sotto had a career as a songwriter, actor, and as a music artist as a member of the Manila Sound group VST & Company.[1] Among his notable compositions is "Magkaisa", which is recognized as one of the anthems of the 1986 People Power Revolution.[1]

Sotto is a co-host of Eat Bulaga!, the longest-running variety show in Philippine television history.[1]

Political career

Quezon City

Sotto was vice mayor of Quezon City from 1988 to 1992.[1] He founded the Vice-Mayors' League of the Philippines and served as its first president.[1] During this period, Sotto was also named Vice Chairman of Citizens' Drugwatch.[1]

Senate, first term

Sotto was elected to the Senate of the Philippines in the 1992 senatorial election, topping the tally with nearly 12 million votes, more than 3 million more than his second place ranker.[1] This made him the third member of his family to enter the Senate, after his grandfather Vicente Yap Sotto and granduncle Filemon Sotto.[1] He served as Assistant Majority Floor Leader, was a member of the Commission on Appointments, and served as chairman on several senate committees. In the 1998 senatorial election, Sotto earned another term in the Senate with a third place finish, the best result among Senators vying for re-election.[1]

From April 30 to May 1, 2001, together with Juan Ponce Enrile, Gregorio Honasan, Panfilo Lacson and Miriam Defensor Santiago, he led the EDSA III protests in support of Joseph Estrada.[3][4] On May 1, 2001, the protesters stormed Malacañang Palace.[4] In spite of this, he ran for another term in the Senate in 2007 under the TEAM Unity coalition backed by the Arroyo administration, but was unsuccessful, finishing in 19th place.[5]

Arroyo cabinet

Sotto was appointed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as a member of the Board of Directors and acting chairman of the Dangerous Drugs Board on 4 July 2008, succeeding Anselmo Avenido whose term was expiring that day.[6] The appointment was just over one year after his failed 2007 senatorial bid. Philippine election laws forbid defeated candidates from being appointed to government posts within a year of the election.[6]

Senate, second term

Sotto won election to another term in the Philippine Senate in the 2010 senatorial election, as a member of the Nationalist People's Coalition.

Upon the commencement of the 15th Congress on 26 July 2010, he was elected by the majority of his fellow Senators as the Majority Leader of the Senate as well as the Chairman of its Committee on Rules, thus he manages the legislative affairs of the Senate, particularly on the floor during the sessions. He was also one of the 20 Senators that voted to convict Corona and to remove him from office on 29 May of that year.

In 2012, Sotto was accused of plagiarizing several passages[7] in a speech opposing the Reproductive Health Bill[8] in the Philippine Senate.[9][10][11]

Several local and international news agencies and several internet users reported that Sotto had taken the passages from a 2011 blog entry by Sarah Pope,[12] an American home economist blogger. Sotto asserted that he was quoting Natasha Campbell-McBride, who was referenced in the blog post.[13][14]

Pope, upon learning of the controversy, confirmed Sotto's plagiarism on 16 August 2012[15] in another entry to her blog, strongly criticizing Sotto for the plagiarism, for denying it, and for his stance on contraceptives.[16] She also remarked that she did not intend to sue.[16]

Sotto's chief of staff, in a comment on Pope's blog, admitted to using the blog post and failing to attribute Pope's work.[17][18] Pope responded to the comment again criticizing Sotto's stance on the Reproductive Health Bill.[19]

On 17 August, Sotto reasserted his defense saying: "I made a blanket disclosure. I mentioned beforehand my attributions, that I had many sources (of information in my speech) so I have admitted that. I have made a disclosure, so what’s their problem with that? They probably thought I’m trying to pass myself off as knowledgeable (on the subject) when in fact I’m not, supposedly, Where is the plagiarism there? They think that’s plagiarism. So come on, sue me."[20] Villacorta said he saw nothing wrong with using Pope’s blog without attribution because it "is public domain"[21] and "blogs are not covered by copyright.[11][21] It is a new media and there is no jurisprudence yet."[10][19][21][22][23][24][25] In an interview on the Philippine newscast 24 Oras, Sotto remarked:

"Whatever it is, the buck stops with me, I'm the senator. Whatever I delivered in the Senate Hall is what's important. Whatever they say, we'll take it in stride."[26]

Sotto also reiterated that his privilege speech under the protection of the Article 6 Section 11 of the Philippine Constitution — which states that "No member (of Congress) shall be questioned nor be held liable in any other place for any speech or debate in the Congress or in any committee thereof."[27][28] In an interview on the Philippine newscast The World Tonight, Pope remarked:

"He is acting as though he's above the law, that he is above copyright law, that he can do whatever he wants, he can step on whoever he wants, to get his agenda through the Philippine legislature. That's just wrong, that's very poor behavior. I hope the Filipino people take note of this behavior and subsequent denial on his bad behavior on the part of Senator Sotto. Think about this when they go to the election booths when he's up for reelection."[29]

A South China Morning Post journalist, Raïssa Robles, also pointed out that Sotto plagiarized five bloggers and a briefing paper[30][31] — which includes a blog titled The Truth of Contraceptives,[32] a blog titled Feminists for Choice,[33] a blog titled Talking Sense by Marlon Ramirez,[34] a New York University blog publishing works by birth control activist Margaret Sanger,[35] and a briefing paper published by the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute.[36] Robles also remarked that Sotto would be championing digital piracy, she remarked: "Atty. Villacorta said that the Internet is free. (sic) This would mean that Senator Sotto would be championing digital piracy"[37]

On 9 November 2012, Kerry Kennedy, the daughter of late American senator Robert F. Kennedy and president of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights wrote a public letter to Sen. Sotto accusing him of flagrantly and deceptively plagiarizing the Robert F. Kennedy's 1966 Day of Affirmation speech in his remarks to the Philippine Senate last 5 September 2012.[38] Sotto has since issued an apology but still refuses to admit he committed plagiarism in his speech.

Sotto is one of the two senators who have inserted provision on libel[39] under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 or Anti-Cybercrime Law.

In 2013, Sotto filed a bill that would mandate all government and non-government employees to receive a 14th month of annual salary.[40] Responding to the Department of Labor and Employment claims that the bill would worsen unemployment if implemented, Sotto said that the existing 13th month pay is not truly a bonus because there are actually 13 months in a year.[40] "There are 52 weeks in a year divide it by four weeks in a month. Thirteen months."[40]

On the commencement of the session of the 16th Congress, on 22 July 2013, Sotto became part of the new Senate minority group. He was chosen by his colleagues in the minority to be Deputy Floor Leader, second in command to Enrile who became the Minority Leader. On 2014, following Enrile's arrest over the pork barrel scam, Sotto became the acting Minority Floor Leader.

In June 2015, he resigned as the Majority Leader following the resignation of Enrile, his staunch political mentor as Senate President due to the squabble because of the management of the funds of the Senate. He will seek a reelection in the upcoming 2016 national elections under NPC. and won, finishing in 3rd place for the 12 contested senate seats.

Personal life

Sotto is married to Helen Gamboa, a beauty queen, actress, and singer.[1] They have four children (Romina, Diorella, Gian Carlo and Ciara) eight grandsons (Romino Vicente, Victorio, Vicente IV, Carlos Edrigu, Alessandro Jose, Marciano, Juan Rossano, and Vincenzo Jose) and two granddaughters (Helena and Amaria Jiliana).[1] He is an avid bowler and was a member of the Philippine national bowling team, representing the country several times at the AMF World Cup.[1] He also plays golf and has won several tournaments.[1] He is Catholic.[2]


TV shows

Title Year Role Network
Discorama 1975–1976 Host GMA Network
Student Canteen 1976–1977 Host
Iskul Bukol 1978–1990 Tito Escalera IBC
Eat Bulaga! 1979–present Host RPN (1979–1989); ABS-CBN (1989–1995); GMA Network (1995–present)
TVJ: Television Jesters 1991–1993 Various IBC
TVJ on 5 1992–1993 Various ABC (now TV5)
Rock and Roll 2000 1994–1995 Himself ABC
Mixed N.U.T.S. (Numero Unong Terrific Show!) 1994–1997 Various GMA Network
Brigada Siete 1994–2001 Host/Anchor


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 "Vicente C. Sotto III". senate.gov.ph. Senate of the Philippines. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  2. 1 2 "Resume of Senator Vicente C. Sotto III". senate.gov.ph. Senate of the Philippines. Archived from the original on 17 September 2012. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
  3. "Miriam to GMA: Resign or we will storm palace". Philippine Star. April 30, 2001. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
  4. 1 2 "Remembering the Iglesia-led EDSA 3". Rappler. August 25, 2015. Retrieved April 27, 2016.
  5. "May 14, 2007 National and Local Elections National Tally Sheet". comelec.gov.ph. Commission on Elections. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  6. 1 2 Mark Meruenas (4 July 2008). "Former Sen. Sotto named acting DDB chief". gmanews.tv. GMA News and Public Affairs. Retrieved 22 August 2012.
  7. Alfredo, Melgar (15 August 2012). "Sotto's Reckless Method of Legislation is Inexcusable". Filipino Freethinkers. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  8. "Speech of Senator Tito Sotto on the RH Bill, Part 1". GMA News. GMA Network. 16 August 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  9. Patria, Kim (16 August 2012). "Sotto: Why should I quote a blogger?". Yahoo! News. Yahoo!. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  10. 1 2 Teeves, Oliver (17 August 2012). "US blogger accuses Philippine senator of plagiarism in heated debate on contraceptives bill". Montreal Gazette. Postmedia Network. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  11. 1 2 "US blogger accuses Filipino senator of plagiarism". CBS News. CBS Corporation. 17 August 2012. Archived from the original on 18 August 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  12. Pope, Sarah (23 February 2011). "How The Pill Can Harm Your Future Child's Health". The Healthy Economist. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  13. "Sotto: Why should I quote a blogger?". Rappler.com. 16 August 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  14. "Sotto's anti-RH speech copied from US blogger? Sotto doesn't think so". GMA News. GMA Network. 15 August 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  15. "Blogger can't believe work was plagiarized". ABS-CBN. 16 August 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  16. 1 2 "Blogger confirms Sotto 'plagiarism'". Rappler.com. 16 August 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  17. "Sotto's staff admits plagiarizing blogger". Rappler.com. 16 August 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  18. Malig, Jojo (16 August 2012). "Sotto's office admits copying US blog". ABS-CBN. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  19. 1 2 Sanchez, Rowena Joy (17 August 2012). "Sotto's Chief Of Staff Owns Up To 'Using' Blogger's Entry". Manila Bulletin. Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  20. "Sotto dares bloggers: Sue me". The Daily Tribune. The Daily Tribune Publishing. 17 August 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  21. 1 2 3 Teeves, Oliver (17 August 2012). "US blogger accuses Filipino senator of plagiarism". Associated Press. hosted by Google News. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  22. "US blogger accuses Filipino senator of plagiarism". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group. 17 August 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  23. "US blogger accuses Philippine senator of plagiarism in heated debate on contraceptives bill". The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. 17 August 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  24. "Sotto aide takes blame but denies plagiarism, says blogs meant to be share". GMA News. GMA Network. 17 August 2012. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  25. RG, Cruz (17 August 2012). "Sotto immune from plagiarism raps, top aide says". ABS-CBN. Retrieved 17 August 2012.
  26. "Vic Sotto: We're all behind Tito". ABS-CBN. 17 August 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  27. "Wikisource link to Article VI: Legislative Department". Constitution of the Philippines. Wikisource. 1987.
  28. Esguerra, Christian (18 August 2012). "US blogger accuses Sotto: 'Lying thief'". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inc. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  29. Malig, Jojo (18 August 2012). "Sotto acting above the law, US blogger says". ABS-CBN. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  30. Robles, Raisa (17 August 2012). "UPDATE: Senator Sotto lifted from 5 bloggers and 1 briefing paper". ABS-CBN. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  31. Robles, Raissa (17 August 2012). "UPDATE: Senator Sotto lifted from 5 bloggers and 1 briefing paper". Inside Philippine politics and beyond. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  32. "Case Study: The Use of Contraceptives Lowers the Number of Abortions". The Truth of Contraceptives. Blogger (Google Inc.). January 2010. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  33. "Gandhi's birth control of choice". Feminists for Choice. 5 February 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  34. Ramirez, Marlon (20 September 2008). "Re-imaging Life and Family: The Global Scandal". Talking Sense. Multiply. Archived from the original on 21 August 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  35. Sanger, Margaret (2000) [1999]. ""Gandhi and Sanger Debate Love, Lust and Birth Control," #23, Winter 1999/2000". The Margaret Sanger Papers. New York University. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  36. Foster, Catherine; Harrison, Donna J.; Melton, Grace; Pawloski, Amanda; Wright, Wendy; Yoshihara, Susan (editor) (20 August 2010). "Six More Problems with Women Deliver: Why Attempts to Redefine Maternal Health as Reproductive Health Threaten the World's Women" (PDF). Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  37. Flores, Karen (17 August 2012). "'Sotto would be championing piracy'". ABS-CBN. Retrieved 18 August 2012.
  38. Lo, Barnaby (29 September 2012). "Facebook's "like" may land Filipinos in jail". CBS News. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  39. 1 2 3 Ager, Maila (16 October 2013). "DOLE: 14th-month pay to worsen unemployment". Inquirer.net. Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 16 October 2013.

External links

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